When the school Psychologist handed me a composition book all she had to say was, “Maybe you need to write down what you are feeling. This could help.” This was my school’s way of checking up on a very confused 15 year old who once again found himself facing something different from his classmates. She was right in a sense, I need to be able to talk and how many sophomore’s in high school had just buried a girlfriend? My friends were still trying to figure out their own thing and how to deal with me, no one is prepared at that age. So writing became a habit.
Every time I needed to talk, in those pages it went. Eventually those pages become other composition books and finally I went full Doogie Howser and used my computer to keep my thoughts locked away from prying eyes in college. My concerns about cancer returning, dating issues that just didn’t seem like they would be good conversations with the frat boys over Saturday morning cartoons, into the computer they went.
I was writing every night, even if only a few sentences to record the day. The longest one had been the night I kissed my ex for the first time. It had been years of keeping my head down and avoiding romance. When it came back, so did the need to think it through. Every fear about her health, our families, work issues all had their time on some page. And then we hit just the worst year ever.
2014 was started with loss and just continued when the relationship couldn’t handle the stresses. Those six months of writing was pain, endless pain. That cancer recurrence didn’t help my mental state one bit either. So yet another suggestion was made, find an outlet where I knew someone might see what I was writing. Maybe they were going through some of the same things, maybe I needed someone to know how poorly I was handling life. Conversations that weren’t happening in a room full of people could happen with a group I only know through an avatar.
Most mornings I wake up a wreck. My emotions are all over the place until I get through a checklist of ideas of what needs to be done. Trying to keep those negatives in balance with the everything else helps me through the day. Sometimes I need to reach out and feel heard. I don’t look at statistics or pageviews, but knowing that one other person might click on the page means someone knows I’m doing well or maybe not on any given day.
My family likes to keep things silent. Too silent for me to be able to handle them. I know my mother has hidden my health issues from others, even gone so far as to say “Oh, he’s doing fine.” Makes it hard to reach out to people knowing that I might contradict something my parents have said. So quietly I sit in the corner and ponder life. I watched it destroy me ex, the way her mother just controlled everything and there was nothing I could do to help stop it. She considered it a fact of life with her family.
Even while finding myself having come full-circle, living with the family of that same girlfriend whose death started me on this path, I wonder how they are dealing with my craziness. I know the granddaughter writes all the time about how she feels. My niece is getting a leg up on dealing with her emotions at 15 that most of us end up waiting for some life-altering event to figure it out.
There’s a lot of loneliness I didn’t expect to feel. My rational mind knowing it’s a chemical imbalance brought on by all of the emotional turmoil since February 2014. But we all know who wins when it’s a battle of rational versus irrational, always bet on emotion winning. It’s a powerful force!
Without this outlet, I would be spending my time in a padded cell under the direct control of heavy medication and round-the-clock video surveillance. And that’s maybe the better option to others that have been contemplated and discussed in private and public. Or more bluntly, taking a chemical cocktail off to sleepy time from which you don’t wake up. [sarcasm is the only way I can deal with those thoughts, they also have been powerful at times!]
I write because the alternatives are not pleasant. I’d rather let out the demons or the angels and see how the world deals with them. My unconscious mind is hoping to find the meaning in my life, again? Every person has a voice, mine just is more dark and guttural then some others. In order to let that light back in, like burning that candle in the window of my mind for my daughter; sometimes you have to speak up.
In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Million-Dollar Question.”